Killer-for-hire Quarry is trying to lie low when he gets a midnight visit from two other gunmen sent by an old associate. Someone wants Quarry off the scene--for keeps. Back in print, this early crime novel by the author of The Road to Perdition shows once again that nobody is harder-boiled than Quarry. With a new Afterword by the author.
The second Quarry book and ticks in all the right places for me – characters, pace, story, setting, length, action.
Quarry receives a visit during the night, less than friendly, but he deals effectively with the situation.
Sharing a room with a dead man can be a less than pleasant experience, especially if the man’s bowels empty when he dies, as is common. All of a sudden you begin to understand how the tradition of flowers at funerals got started. But this corpse had better manners than most, and wasn’t smelling up the room at all. He was in fact, better company than a lot of people I’ve met.
With a name from one of his visitors, Quarry goes hunting for an old colleague, Ash - Ash being in the same business as Quarry. Conducting a stakeout on Ash, Quarry learns that a hit is currently planned on an unidentified target and that Ash also has current plans afoot with mob lawyer, Curtis Brooks.
After revealing himself to Ash, the pair chat somewhat philosophically over the fact that Ash set Quarry up for being hit. Ash reveals his ambitions for taking over The Broker’s business – The Broker now deceased (from our first book) being the middleman for Quarry and other hitmen: arranging contracts and taking a fee. Ash is seeking the Broker’s List – something essential to the continued smooth running of the death business. The thought is that Quarry either has the list or is an obstacle to finding it.
An already interesting story, gets further complicated by the appearance on the scene of a young woman at Quarry’s hotel. Collins introduces a few more twists and surprises along the way, packing a helluva punch into a short book of 160-odd pages.
5 from 5
Quarry’s Deal, originally published in 1976 is next up.
Bought for Kindle on Amazon UK a couple of years ago.